Neighbourly Notes – 29 December 2016

ICONIC VIEW: One of the many submissions to the ES Yound Photographic Competition, which ran for a second time this year. This picture, showing a sunset and the Nico Malan Bridge, was submitted by Alan Poultney

AS it is almost the end of the year, we’d like to take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt thanks to all our advertisers, contributors (from the letter pages, guest writers and photographs of various happenings), distributors (especially our reputable dealers) and our loyal readers for their investment, amazing support, participation and ongoing encouragement of the Talk of the Town over this year. We look forward to tackling the challenges of next year together.

A BIG welcome to all our visitors, whether you are regulars of simply visiting our beautiful area for the first time. You are most welcome to stay and enjoy everything we have to offer. From the beach and the beautiful Indian Ocean, to our game reserves and the chance of seeing the Big 5; from historical Bathurst to the glorious Fish River, we have everything you could possibly desire here on the Sunshine Coast.

THIS year was stressful by any standards. Internationally, things have hardly been a comfort. Racial tensions are still evident in the US, where Donald Trump will take his oath of office as the 45th president and the leader of the free world. Britain also still has problems after its vote to exit the European Union. The world faces terror threats from Isis, and the world economy is uncertainly balanced. When you look at it, SA is not doing as badly as you might think.

IN South Africa we began to suffer a most unwelcome spate of racial accusations, with blacks denouncing whites and whites insulting blacks. It was probably a good time to be Indian. The Fees Must Fall protests left us all feeling jumpy, and President Jacob Zuma’s strange decisions with regards to ministerial appointments and Guptagate have not helped matters. Some South African pastors claimed that eating live rats or being sprayed with Doom will cure you (some heretic actually claimed that Baygon would also do the trick).

LOCALLY we saw a new mayor and council take office, and many of our roads in the early or late stages of being fixed. We have also seen a great deal of interest shown by the outside world, with a movie being filmed here, a parkrun being proposed, the Siza Fit (previously, the Siza Vitality) run being extended and improved and much more. We have had a number of musical events including concerts, variety shows, plays and more performed by locals and celebrities alike. We have held two boat races for universities and schools, the krantz has been a popular spot for seasonal revelry and we can expect as may as 30 000 to 50 000 visitors to Port Alfred alone on New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, the municipality has just introduced water restrictions, so please be water-wise.

ALTHOUGH many people think drinking on the beach and getting drunk around town are “just once a year” events, and call to “let the people play”, the real issue is that many of our visitors and locals get injured during this time of the year. Whether it is people holding loud parties that go on into the morning on someone’s front lawn, or someone being run over by a car or being dragged into the riptide, dangers are all around us, so please be careful this Christmas season. Don’t take glass onto the beach (rather use plastic bottles), ensure you take your rubbish with you when you leave, and be respectful of other people’s happiness and enjoyment. It appears you are not likely to be arrested or even fined for drinking in public, but you must ensure you have not consumed an illegal amount of alcohol before driving away. We want to see you next year, so abide by the simple rules and let’s ensure we all have a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

WISHING everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead a wonderful birthday with many more years to come, especially Nielen Marais, Alan Pretorius, Ashley Gardner, Peter Charter, Christopher Friderichs, Mary McGhie, Elize Alexander, Rob Avis, Olive Wilmot, Dawn Alder, Steve Harris, Brenton Spence, Peter Hains, Susan Kok, Kyle Jacobs, Denzil Goosen, Bonnie Blaine, Aiden Norden, Hans Hon, Vic Goddard, Estelle Reynolds, Luke Probart,   Andrew Jones-Phillipson, Essie Fick, Willem Horn, Glenda Huxtable, Bradley van Zyl, Sophie Bessinger and Spencer Vivier.

CONTINUED success and congratulations to all business establishments celebrating another anniversary, especially Jan Pheiffer of Jan Vic Services and The SA Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) in Grahamstown.

SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those who are not well, who are having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. “Sterkte” to Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, June Hart, Linda Hulley, Dot Fetherstonhaugh, Ben Kember, Blake Squires, Llewellyn Wicks, Malcolm Cock, Philly Dell, Myrna Keet, Barbara Tee, Bevan Edwards and Brenda Shelton.

CONGRATULATIONS and every good wish for continued happiness for many years ahead to the following couples celebrating wedding anniversaries in the week ahead: Graeme and Wanda Kelbrick, Tjaart and Audrey Barnard, Arno and Mirinda Strydom, Alec and Felix Clark, Jonathan and Vanessa Burns, Dean and Loraine Samuel, Ivan and Lenore Schafer, Connan and Yolanda Hill.

AS the year comes to an end, the holiday season does too, and many of our visitors will be packing up over this weekend to travel back home. On behalf of the team, we wish you a safe journey and hope you have enjoyed your stay in our beautiful Ndlambe towns. Please come back next year and share some fun with us.

MAY your 2017 be filled with many amazing memory-making moments. May the blessings of good health, humour and good sense be with you and your family in the coming year.

THOUGHT for the week: “Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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